Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:343 | Cite as

Pollution of Arctic Waters Has Reached a Critical Point: an Innovative Approach to This Problem

  • Costas A. VarotsosEmail author
  • Vladimir F. Krapivin


One of the most important problems in the Arctic Basin is the pollution of its waters and the assessment of its impact on the ecological system of this region. In this paper, we recommend using the geoecological information-modeling system (GIMS) as one of the Big Data tools to address this problem. Specifically, the GIMS includes a series of specific models describing ecological, hydrological, climatic, and hydrochemical processes in Arctic waters. The synthesis of GIMS with the Arctic Basin Ecosystem (ABE) model provides the GIMS-ABE coupled model that takes into account various sources of pollutants, including river runoffs, long-range atmospheric transport, and anthropogenic activities in the coastal zone, as well as ships. In the simulation experiments performed in the present study, heavy metals, oil hydrocarbons, and radionuclides are considered as primary contaminants. In addition, the biocomplexity and survivability indicators were considered as information values to predict the status of the Arctic ecosystem. The results showed a high sensitivity of the Arctic ecosystem to pollution that is currently close to a tipping point. In particular, it emerged that the current state of pollution intensity leads to increased accumulation of pollutants in marine waters at different rates ranging from 7 to 23% depending on the Arctic aquatic environment.


Arctic Basin Water pollution Contaminants Anthropogenic activities Modeling 


Funding Information

The study was supported by the scientists and staff of the Russian Fund for Fundamental Researches (Grant No. 16-01-00213) and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Cooperative Agreement from 25 May 2017).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Physics and MeteorologyNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Kotelnikov Institute of Radioengineering and ElectronicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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